Trailing liability for asset decommissioning in Australia

Australia’s total asset decommissioning liability is estimated to exceed $60 billion between 2020 and 2050. This issue is particularly acute with many fossil fuel assets facing early retirement as a result of the clean energy transition. Consequently, decommissioning stranded or end-of-life assets is becoming an increasingly significant consideration for businesses across a wide range of industries.

Australia’s piecemeal legislative framework for dealing with decommissioning is, in many respects, confusing and inconsistent. Presently, the framework consists of an industry-specific array of federal and state-based legislation and regulations. For example, the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Act 2021 (Cth) regulates decommissioning of offshore wind farms and associated electricity transmission infrastructure, while the Water Act 1989 (Vic) regulates decommissioning of public and private dams.

News article on 30 August 2022 by Trevor Thomas & Thomas Milner from

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